Staying up-to-date with Google’s best practices is fundamental to successful SEO implementation. The search engine consistently tweaks its algorithms in response to various factors, with its engineers constantly striving to create the most useful online directory for the millions of active worldwide users.
While this is great news for everybody using Google as it helps to eliminate spam, black hat marketing tactics, and dangerously false information, it also means that businesses and SEO professionals must keep on top of the frequent algorithmic changes. For example, one of the most high-profile developments over the past year was the addition of “Experience” to its pre-existing E-A-T (Expertise-Authority-Trustworthiness) guidelines.
As we explained in our most recent blog post, “Increasing Your Traffic & Authority,” adhering to the E-E-A-T principles is crucial to increasing site traffic through higher SERP rankings. But this is just scratching the surface regarding Google’s best practices for SEO success, as there are far more factors to bear in mind.
Businesses must consider everything from written content to site design and backlink profiles when seeking to achieve higher positioning. Understanding how to optimize these areas comes down to Google’s best practices, which the search engine helpfully lays out in its Search Essentials guide.
Keeping on top of these best practices will also help you negotiate common pitfalls that can harm your SEO score. Content Lab is determined to keep our finger on the pulse and deliver optimized iGaming content that boosts our clients’ rankings, ultimately leading to more traffic and happy customers.
Stay with us for a comprehensive breakdown of Google’s best practices and how to keep up with any changes. Afterward, hit the contact button to see how we can help you achieve your digital marketing goals.
What are Google’s Best Practices?
Google’s best practices is a catch-all phrase for various SEO fundamentals the search engine uses to rank content. This covers everything from website design and backend programming to written content, images, and meta tags.
Businesses must consider various site characteristics to ensure their websites are aligned with the search engine’s algorithms. Some of the most important include:
- Optimized Keyword Usage
- Successful E-E-A-T Implementation
- Unique Content
- Optimized Meta Tags
- Internal & External Linking
- Regular Updates
- Clear Structures Using H1, H2, & H3s
- Target Audience Consideration
As a copywriting agency, Content Lab primarily focuses on the best practices listed above. Businesses must also consider their website design to ensure fast loading speeds, easy navigation, rich search functions, and more. A holistic approach is necessary to ensure the best results, something we’ll explore in more detail below.
Different Areas to Consider Google’s Best Practices
Google’s best practices cover the whole website and content creation process, helping businesses dial in on the most effective ways to boost their SERP rankings. Don’t make the mistake of simply focusing on just one of the categories below, as poor site design can ultimately let down even first-rate SEO content.
Written content is arguably the most important area to consider in Google’s best practices. At Content Lab, we regularly scour the web for the latest updates, either through the search engine’s SEO essentials guide or through popular websites like SearchEngineLand and SearchEngineJournal.
Google’s best practices for written content include various factors. For example, you must find the most relevant keywords, ideally identifying long-tail and short-tail phrases with high search volume and low competition. Even more importantly, all content must show genuine experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. In other words, satisfy the E-E-A-T principles (something you can read more about here).
On-Site Design & UX
On-site design and UX is another key area where businesses can implement Google’s best practices. This involves minimizing loading speeds, optimizing internal sitemaps, adding valuable metadata, and generally enhancing the inherent usability of your website.
Taking an example from its SEO Starter Guide, Google says:
“Following the best practices will hopefully make it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and understand your content.”
The easier Google’s algorithms and software can crawl your content, the better the indexing. In turn, the search engine will have a better overall picture of your website, which should lead to higher SERP positioning if the content itself is top-notch.
Building an effective backlink profile is an equally important area where Google’s best practices can make a considerable difference. Ideally, a business will have several high-ranking and authoritative websites linking back to its own. These can be acquired through tactics such as guest blogging, shareable content or infographics, and featuring on resource pages.
The main thing to remember when developing your backlink profile is to heavily vet potential link-building opportunities. Google takes a very strong stance on spammy “black hat” link-building strategies, so you could hurt your rankings if you’re not careful.
How to Keep Updated with Shifting SEO Best Practices
Keeping yourself updated with Google’s shifting SEO best practices is no easy feat. But don’t let this scare you. Use some of the suggestions below to keep on top of any algorithmic changes and react accordingly:
Consistently Refer Back to Google Guidelines
The easiest way to keep up with Google’s best practices is to go straight to the source itself. Refer back to Google Search Central to learn about all the best ways to optimize your SEO profile. The guide has various useful resources for website developers and copywriting professionals. Additional tools like the Google Search Console can help you understand how your website is performing.
Follow Leading SEO Influencers
Following industry-leading SEO professionals is a great way to stay up-to-date with shifting best practices. We explored some of the most useful influencers to follow in our previous blog post, “Who to Follow in the SEO Space“. These figures are often the first to know about any upcoming changes and can have valuable insider knowledge.
Read SEO Blogs
Reading SEO blogs and websites like Search Engine Roundtable or the Ahrefs Blog is a great way to keep up-to-date with Google’s best practices and learn various tips in the process. These sites often publish several daily articles from guest bloggers and SEO professionals within the industry.
Use Forums & SEO Communities
Joining forums with like-minded SEO strategists is a great way to stay on top of Google’s best practices and enjoy the benefits of the hive mind. Check out examples like the Google Search Central Help Community, the Warrior Forum, and Reddit’s r/SEO thread for the most helpful communities.
Implementing Google’s Best Practices
Staying updated with Google’s best practices is just one piece of the puzzle. You must also ensure sustained implementation to ensure the best results. Consider some of the main factors below:
Verify E-E-A-T in Written Content
Arguably the most important part of writing SEO-enriched content nowadays is fully subscribing to the E-E-A-T philosophy. You must show Google that your content offers experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. This involves providing up-to-date and 100% accurate information, writing from a first-hand experience stance, and providing credible examples of your authority on your given subject.
Audit Your Backlink Profile
We’ve known that Google doesn’t trust links from spammy sites for a while, but the search engine is constantly upgrading its techniques for identifying spam links and black hat link building. We highly recommend auditing your backlink profile using tools like Semrush to ensure your website isn’t negatively affected by spam links.
Use SEO Tools to Help
SEO tools like the aforementioned Semrush or Ahrefs don’t just help with backlink auditing. These utilities offer in-depth metrics and tracking to give you a well-rounded overview of what’s working and what isn’t on your website. For example, you can audit your content and see whether your keyword usage is aligned with Google’s current best practices, ultimately helping you rank higher on SERPs.
Refine Site Design
Refining your site design is another key part of implementing Google’s best practices. You should regularly consider whether your website is as streamlined as possible, reducing loading times, and generally ensuring the best UX possible.
Avoid Content Cannibalisation
Are you aware of the cost of cannibalization? Businesses must avoid competing for the same keywords across various pieces of content, as this can effectively cannibalize your overall ranking. Avoid conflicting content and audit your blogs regularly to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Be Wary of AI
As a general rule of thumb, content creators for SEO purposes should be very wary of AI. The industry is grappling with the question of whether search engines can detect AI content, and for the time being, the answer is a resounding yes. We don’t recommend using AI for content generation, mainly because Google has its doubts. And rightly so. How can a robot prove first-hand experience, authority, and trustworthiness on a subject? It can sound legit, but as soon as you scratch under the surface, genuine problems arise.
Content Lab: SEO Experts With a Passion for iGaming
Content Lab is constantly looking to keep up-to-date with Google’s best practices to ensure the best content for our clients across the iGaming industry. Our passion for the online casino and sports betting spheres leads to bespoke articles that ooze quality and class. As an example, just check out our comprehensive guide on how to write a casino review properly.
So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch to see how we can help you achieve your digital marketing goals.
See You Next Time!
That’s it for this iteration of the Content Lab blog. Check back regularly for more updates!Marko Marincic